Think about this. You just finished some updates to your website or project. Of course you're excited because you fixed a lot of bugs and you got to show a few people how great it was when you ran it locally.
If you're in a small company or you work for yourself, you might have to deploy those changes to the production server yourself. So you clean you your code, make all of your commits in Git, and deploy the changes that make you look like you can do anything.
Then it doesn't work. At all. Now you have angry people telling you to fix it and you're not sure what the problem is. Here's a few things you can check really fast to help figure out the issue:
It's nice when it's something easy like this. Make sure that you're connecting to the production database and not your development one. Depending on how you do your deployment, the connection string could be automatically updated to match the environment its in. That could mess up the string value and cause weird issues.
If you have any calls to APIs that aren't connected to your site, you definitely need to check your CORS. The cross origin resource sharing settings you have could block any incoming data you expect. So if you’re using services like Google Maps, Stripe, or SendGrid make sure you quadruple check your CORS settings.
Sometimes it's the little things. Make sure you used the right username and password for everything your site uses. That includes the database, any API authentication, or internal authentication. It's best to check these simple things just to make sure you do waste time looking at other issues that aren't the problem.
Some people like to use build pipelines to run any last minute tests or checks and it's not a bad idea if you can do it. A part you can include in a pipeline is automatically publishing the new files once they pass all the tests. Make sure that this publish procedure references the right folders and files on both the client and server sides.
This might not be possible all the time, especially if you chunk files. Although if you have the option to look at the files it's a good way to find out if the right files were published. You can always check the date stamp, but sometimes it helps to see if the changes you made are actually there. Maybe you accidentally published the wrong branch of the site. It happens.
There's a chance that a value in here was changed during local testing and wasn't changed back before you deployed. The server root address will probably be different on your live site versus your local one. An IsEnabled value might need to be false instead of true for things to work on the live site. Just do a quick run through to make sure nothing looks unusual.
This is where a lot of the behind the screens rules are for your site. Is there a Rewrite action you're missing or anything else? You could have some routing that isn't quite right. Again, just go through everything and check the values. Also, if you have another project that you worked on similar to this, you can see what values it has.
Did you break it? It's not the most unlikely scenario. We all do crazy hacks to get stuff working locally that we would never purposely deploy. Check your code to see if you removed anything like that because that's most likely your problem. Even if it runs on your machine, just go through your changes and see if you did something odd.
Is the front-end of your site still compatible with the back-end? Is the back-end still compatible with the server? Updates to libraries or entire frameworks can cause some nightmares because they take the longest to figure out. Save yourself a lot of time and swearing and check those version compatibilities.
Until you can figure out why the site isn't working with your latest changes, it's ok to re-deploy an older, working version of the site. Anytime a site is down, the person who owns the site is losing money. You don't want that because then you'll lose money. Explain to your person that you'll just have to go back to the older version until you find the issue with the new one. They understand. Sometimes…
Do you have any horror stories of a project you KNOW worked, but it just wouldn't work when you deployed it? I definitely have a few.
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